EtG lab responsibility to do visual test for dilution
Asked Oct 5, 2012, 09:36 AM
I am in a "pre-trial services" program in Colorado that requires me to do 2x weekly EtG tests for alcohol. Since I have to travel to California for work, the court said I could do so as long as I found a lab that I could do the tests at, which I did and it was approved by my "case officer".
So on Mondays and Fridays I go up to Los Angeles to do the test, and the results are emailed to me and the case officer usually four or five days later. So all the tests are negative, as expected since I haven't had a drop to drink and have militantly avoided any incidental exposure, but I just got the result from Monday's test and it says "Negative - Dilute".
Now I'm freaking out because I've heard that some legal agencies say that a "dilute" sample is a positive, but I have not intentionally tried to dilute a sample any time, since I have absolutely nothing to hide, and have relied on the person collecting the sample to do a visual and confirm that the sample is acceptable - what else could I do? If they say the sample looks fine - and I would think it would be their responsibility, if the sample appears to be too clear, to ask me to wait and do another one, because how would I possibly know what the levels are?
At the collection site in Colorado, there is a color chart on the wall where they do the paperwork after the sample is taken, and if it's too clear they make you give another one - this implies to me that it's their responsibility to judge the sample acceptable or not.
I normally drink a lot of water/diet soda/coffee and have done my best to not overdo it in the hours before going up there to test, but it's A) physically impossible for me to hold my first morning urine (it's up to a 2-hour drive up there, even longer if I try to leave to get there right when they open because of LA traffic) so I try to hydrate enough so that I will be able to produce a sample when I get there but without overdoing it. But I have no way of knowing what the dilution is when I provide the sample so I am relying on their judgment whether to accept the sample or not. The collector (it's been the same woman each time) has never indicated in any way that the sample appears to be too clear or unacceptable in any way. If the expert cannot tell this until the sample is actually tested, how would I be able to?
So my question I guess is, whether it is the collector's responsibility to make the visual assessment and accept the sample or not, or whether I am somehow being expected to know whether my sample is dilute or not, which I have no way of doing.